T H E   L I S T 

    1. Acute appendicitis (Wembley, England, March 1955).

    2. Gratuitously exuberant celebration of Villanova's basketball victory over St. Bonaventure, National Invitational Tournament (New York City, March 1968).

    3. A quarter-kilo of raw peanuts, several glasses of ouzo and an entrée of octopus boiled in its ink (Kiladha, Greece, August 1972).

    4. Lunch of Fried Tendersweet Clams™ and highly suspicious tartar sauce consumed at a HoJo (off I-75, northwest of Atlanta, December 1978).

    5. A really nasty case of blackwater fever (Alexandria, Egypt, July 1981).

    6. Riding with old friend and rallye driver wannabe James C. Wright over the switchback mountain roads of Euboea following a large midday meal of grilled fish, feta and fried potatoes (near Psakhná, Greece, July 2001).

    7. The Reverend Jerry Falwell (more or less chronically over the last twenty years).

    8. Dolly Parton's spiritual version of "Stairway to Heaven" (January 2003). What purpose can possibly be served by covering the worst song in the history of Western music?

    9. The pillaging of the Baghdad Museum (April 2003).

    10. California (October 7, 2003). What in God's name were the voters thinking?

    11. Super Bowl XXXVIII: (a) The astronaut climbing onto the tiny moonscape to plant the flag in slo-mo during the pre-game National Anthem; and (b) the halftime show, which gave new meaning to the term "wretched excess," even by Super Bowl standards (February 1, 2004).

    12. Abu Ghraib. The whole sickie bag.


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